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37yr old male, 6ft 2in, started calorie counter weighing 286 pounds on jan 26 2011. I am currently stalled at 211 pounds (for about 5 weeks now) and my goal weight is 200. (or less) I am currently eating between 1800 and 2000 calories a day and workout with weights 3 days a week and do cardio 20 to 40 minutes 3 days a week. The weight lifting is pretty intense and my cardio is moderate. Anyone want to guess what is causing my plateau? Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have lost the weight that I have, but i really want to reach my original goal weight.
I don't think you are eating enough as a man (you are eating at an extreme weight loss range and I don't think it is good to do that long term and is meant, I think, for an inactive lifestyle) and with that workout routine. Maybe that is why you are plateauing? Try a higher cal intake and/or just make sure you have a deficit from your working out instead. I just quickly punched in your numbers in a basic calorie calculator and depending on what your working out (is this 3 intense work out days or 6 moderate to intense work out days?) either way you can still be at a weight loss with 2100-2500 cal intake (depending on your work out factors).
Also, you can change up your workout routine, when bodies get use to one routine they don't burn what they use to and/or don't work as hard as they use to. Or try calorie cycling (but I still recommend you eat more cals).
The closer you are to your goal, the harder it is to lose. You will need a smaller calorie deficit because the less fat you have, the fewer calories your body can extract from its own fat each day. You are already on the right track with your exercise. Also, try and find out what your bf% is if you don't already know. Since you were weight lifting as you were losing weight, you probably retained most if not all of your lbm, and you might already be at a healthy weight.
Thanks! Both of these replies were very helpful. I think I will try raising my cal intake for a month or so and see what happens.
no problem and good luck ;)
I was in similar scenario to you. At 5'8" I started at 280 and had weight target of 180. As you are losing the weight, you can get focused on what the scales say. What I realized as got I closer to the weight target I should focus on body fat %. I'm doing a P90X/Insanity hybrid, which is similar to you with a mixture intense weight training and aerobics. I did eventually reach 180, but now I'm at 184 because I'm adding muscle and I bet you probably are too. Your calories sound low to me. I'm consuming 2500 calories per day of nothing but the most nutritious calories. I would recommend the following: increasing the calories to 2500, take a look at Shakeology (very nutrient dense per calorie), and focus on body fat % NOT the scales.
I'm 1.5 years into this and have found that you have to make adjustments along the way to continue getting results.
Congrats on your outstanding results and keep going!
It's my understanding that each time one loses ca 10% of one's weight one reaches a plateau which can last up to 6 months. I'm in my second such now. It's frustrating, but I guess the thing is just to hang in there and keep from gaining until it passes.
my plan was 52 weeks 52 lbs... well it's more intense as I get close to the last 10 lbs, I think this happens to all of us, don't despair, stay on track, it will happen, give yourself the luxury of time and patience. you've done so well up to now and
CC is my mentor and keeps me on track, I intend to use it even after I attain my goal because that's when I usually gain it all back... but not this time
It could be that your workout needs to change because your body has adapted to it. The term is called adaptation syndrome and it is where the body will adapt to the stress that is being placed on it. There are four things you can change in your workout and the acronym is called F.I.T.T. They are frequency, intensity, time and type. Try changing one or more of these variables and see if the weight starts to come off again. It also sounds that your calories might be too low if your workouts are above moderate. Try increasing your caloric intake slightly with lean proteins and healthy complex carbs to jump start your metabolism back into burning fat. Good luck and keep on working.
Starting Feb 6, I increased my calories from 1600 - 1800 per day to 2200 - 2300 per day (baby steps) and completely changed my workout routine. I started the Stronglifts 5x5 program and continue with cardio 4 to 5 days a week. So far, after 6 days, i have lost a pound. Sooo.... things are happening again! Thanks to everyone for the very good advice. I would have most likely stayed with the low cal diet which i realize now would have been not so healthy. Oh, a bonus to raising my cals? I actually feel better and not nearly as hungry. This site and it's forum are awesome...
Congrats on all the good work. Now is the most crucial test. What if you stay on the same routine and plateau for several more months? You will be way ahead of the curve because most folks get discouraged and gain it back. They gain it back imperceptibly, a few ounces a week. In about 5 years, all the weight is back and more. Stay on course. Your weight loss may be very slow right now to the point it is almost imperceptible. I would recommend against cutting calories much further.
Look into some other ways to measure BMI besides the traditional weight/height ratio. You will probably find your BMI is lower than you think because muscle weighs more than fat. Did you ever notice that weight lifters seldom look skinny? You might look into stats for some weight lifters and see how you compare to them. There are other measures besides the scale to encourage us and let us know when we are on track.
Keep on keeping on. Focus on the fact that you are doing the right things now regardless of whether the gratification is immediate. I am well over 60 and lost and regained many times in my younger years. I wish someone had told be what I am sharing with you. A decade from now, if you keep on with your program, you will not regret it. I am a child of the 60's. We tended to think that this old world would end before any of us ever got old. We also tended to not place enough value on the future of our health, thinking, well "I will be too old to do anything much anyway!" Wrong we were! I still go backpacking and bicycling. As health consciousness improves, your generation may live to be 110!
Think like you are going to live forever! God bless!
That's pretty good dear ;) Congrats so far. The only thing I would say is maybe 5 days a week? Your diet seems good. Have you ever thought About yoga too? I started it myself. You use different muscles. May I ask how much protein are you getting? I heard that makes a different as well. Though I'm a vegetarian for mine is pretty much fish. And my size is very different to you i'm 5 ft 1. I wish you luck!!
Thank you! My protein intake is around 120 - 150g per day. No protein shakes or bars... just food.
I don't think you're getting enough protein Bro! I've been doing this a long time and protein requirement is all over the scale. But with the amount of exercising you do---1 gm. per target weight is pretty much agreed upon. So...you need 200 gms/day. Protein drinks and egg whites (you can buy in a carton and they're cheap) is an easy way to go. Also...you are real close to target weight and it gets real hard at that point. Remember what Churchill said in one of his famous speeches: never, never, never.....give up!!!
Follow furturehottie advise and watch the 11lbs come off. The calories up for a couple of days and down for a couple does work.
Please keep us informed on your progress. Best of luck.
Brought my calories up to 2200 - 2300 per day since 2/6/12. so far I have lost 1.5 pounds. me=happy! I'm seeing proof that this actually works....
Did you bump up the protein?
Trying to bump it with food... holding off on supplements.
Egg whites (buy in carton---cheap) and protein shakes are excellent. Big thing is this is the way you eat now and forever. Hang in there.